Getting soaked for charity seems to be a bit of a craze at the moment so it’s appropriate that I began my ride riding into driving rain coming in off the Irish Sea. The pictures I took at the start were just before this deluge hit. No sooner had I packed my phone away I had the pack off again to scramble for waterproofs as the rain thrashed in. For the first 5 miles I was beginning to regret planning this adventure hugely.

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Things changed dramatically once I’d turned off the road section and onto the Cheshire lines path. This old railway line cuts through some pleasant countryside and the weather was picking up. A smile even started to emerge at this point!

All was going well until Aintree, where someone had turned a sign around. Suddenly the map became useful. A diversion was in place to add to the fun too. Time was ticking on and I was getting concerned. That was until I hit the Liverpool loop line. An old railway cutting makes a convenient new cycle path and I was flying. Just about caught a glimpse of the cathedral and Anfield over the rooftops. Not that I needed those things to tell me in was in Liverpool – shell suit city and they were out in force!

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I reckon they even wear them in Hale. What a pretty little village that is. A full row of thatched cottages, timber framed too. Not your first thought of Liverpool.

Runcorn soon came into view from here, where I followed the Mersey in, along the St Helens canal and in to Warrington. I’m staying in a hotel just near to Thelwall. All in all, took a little longer than hoped to get here. I dawdled but I’ll be hard pushed to meet those checkpoints in time at this rate. Great first day ride though. 41 miles done. Kit soaked and drying again, but the pack stayed dry within.